Week 5/2024

On Wednesday, De Cinema welcomes Mohanad Yaqubi for the screening of R 21 aka Restoring Solidarity (2022), a film that takes a collection of 16 mm films on the Palestinian struggle by militant filmmakers from various countries as its starting point. Dubbed in Japanese to be shown to a Japanese audience, the films highlight the internationalist scope of militant filmmaking in the period 1960-1980. Made up in an array of styles, formats and languages, Yaqubi draws on this material for a film that can be seen as a possible epilogue. He shows how two very different peoples can connect through images, but he also proposes to contemplate the narrative of the Japanese solidarity movement with Palestine during a transformative political period.

CINEMATEK is screening Michael Haneke’s debut feature, Der siebente Kontinent (1989), on Friday. The first part of his ‘Glaciation Trilogy’ – together with Benny’s Video (1992) and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994) – tells the story of an Austrian family, caught up in their daily routine, planning to move to Australia. Behind their apparent calm existence, however, they are planning something sinister. “The film is the story of the price of conformity,” Haneke said. “[The family] destroys the things that have destroyed them in the same painful way that they created this universe that now smothers them. This is the real tragedy because all the destruction that they provoke is not a deliberate act. It cannot liberate them… It’s not a revolutionary film, it’s a bitter film.”

Also on Friday, there’s a focus on the production and distribution company General Films at Cinema Nova. The team of Nova retrieved thousands of film reels from the cellars of General Films, which was founded in the 1960s by Jean Querut and later taken over by his son Pierre Querut. A Belgian equivalent of France’s Eurociné, it also co-produced films by Jean Rollin and Jess Franco. Nova looks back at General Films’ history in the company of Pierre Querut’s  younger brother, Jean Querut, artists Katleen Vermeir and Ronny Heiremans, who made two videos about Pierre for an installation in 2004, and the historian of film techniques Jean-Pierre Verscheure, who was introduced to General’s small family business as a teenager.

This Week